jean harlow

Hollywood & Abortions

April 1, 2017 // 2 Comments

  Over the past century or more that Hollywood has existed there has been no shortage of abortions performed on many of its aspiring young actresses. Unwanted offspring are not unique to the movie business, but they do tend to interfere with ambitions, not to mention reputations, more often in Tinsel Town than elsewhere. Careers have often been made (or saved) on an abortionist’s table. [...]

Did you know?

November 14, 2016 // 0 Comments

  Director Dorothy Arzner & Crawford ‘I like to think that every director I’ve worked with has fallen a little in love with me’, Joan Crawford once confided in an interview none too modestly. ‘I know Dorothy Arzner did’. No surprises there. Given her well-documented sexual orientation Dorothy may well have fallen in love with many of her leading ladies over the years. When it [...]

Four forgotten stars of the silent era – PT 1.

August 14, 2016 // 2 Comments

  Renee Adoree One of Hollywood’s many sad stories, Renee Adoree was a silent star who had her moment in the sun before illness claimed her at just 35 years of age. She was born Jeanne de la Fonte in Lille, France in 1898, and began her performing career with a variety of roles in a traveling circus. Her first movie was a 1920 silent short titled The Strongest, but the role that shot her [...]

Jean Harlow – quite a woman.

June 21, 2016 // 0 Comments

  Born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1911, 16 year-old Harlean Carpenter ran away from home to marry a 21 year-old businessman named Charles McGrew in 1927. The couple lived off his rather large inheritance for a couple of years, but it is believed that his drinking led to an early divorce. In 1928, at the age of 17, she was photographed nude in Griffith Park by Hollywood photographer Edward [...]

Bugsy and Virginia – a Hollywood romance?

May 2, 2016 // 10 Comments

  New York crime boss Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano initially sent Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel out to California in 1937 to set up a horse-racing wire service on the West Coast for the National Crime Syndicate. Once in Los Angeles, however, Bugsy set to work infiltrating the movie unions. He also controlled an extensive prostitution ring. Before long he was making millions extorting [...]

The enigma that was Howard Hughes

March 23, 2016 // 14 Comments

   Howard Hughes was a Texan, a maverick movie tycoon who hit the movie industry like a whirlwind in the Roaring Twenties and remained a force for a couple of decades. At the age of 19 he inherited 75% of his family’s fortune. His father had patented the two-cone roller bit, which allowed rotary drilling for petroleum in previously inaccessible places. Instead of selling it, however, he chose [...]

The Casting Couch.

January 13, 2016 // 0 Comments

  Claudette Colbert was a big star, but even she admitted to getting her start in Hollywood via someone’s ‘casting couch’. In fact, she told an interviewer that the only star she knew of who made it without resorting to the ‘couch’ was Bette Davis. She did not elaborate on that statement, but given Bette’s prestigious Broadway reputation, it might be [...]

Paul Bern ( 1889 – 1932 ) – An exercise in character assassination.

July 12, 2015 // 6 Comments

  Irene Selznick, the wife of producer David O, once described Paul Bern as ‘the single most beloved person in Hollywood’. He was a writer at MGM, 45 years old, short and bald, yet his new wife, Jean Harlow, clearly seemed to be in love with him. It was probably not a ‘match made in heaven’, but there seemed to be considerable trust and real friendship between them, qualities not [...]

HUMPHREY BOGART – The iconic tough guy.

April 18, 2015 // 6 Comments

  Humphrey was not born on Christmas Day 1899 as his studio liked to state. At least two 1900 census forms prove it. He was actually born on 23 January 1899, but the Warner Bros publicity department chose to run with the stupid tagline, ‘a guy born on Christmas Day can’t be all bad’, and the tale stuck. He was also, courtesy of her American relations, a distant relative of the late [...]